Dance Dance Revolution
- Publisher: Konami
- Developer: Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo
- Release: PlayStation, 2001
- Genre: Music, 1-2 players
- Save: Memory Card, 1 Block
- Rarity/Cost: Moderate, US$5-15
Dance Dance Revolution, and indeed all of the series' home games, are fully playable with a regular controller, but to stay true to the arcade experience, are designed with a special floor-mat controller in mind. What's always bugged me about their official controllers is that there are no Square or Triangle buttons, however the American games all use Triangle to back out of menus. This was fine for the Japanese games, which instead used Circle to advance and X to back out, but apparently something got lost in translation. And it's not like there aren't PlayStation games sold abroad which use that setup; heck, even Konami's own Metal Gear Solid games do so! Fortunately, the Select button is also used to back out, but it feels weird using that button, tucked away in that upper-left corner. I am, however, thankful for a particular option unintuitively called "Dance Mode", which toggles the ability to use the four face buttons as well as the D-Pad to hit arrows.
|Even in Double Mode, the game is just as playable with a controller as it is with a dance pad.|
DDR's songlist is composed entirely of 26 selections from the first three Japanese games. Just shy of half of those are licenced songs, although there's nothing the average American listener would recognise, unless he or she were familiar with the DDR franchise already. The artists featured herein are all various flavours of European dance-music acts who had essentially no presence in the States until this game. If you're lucky, you'll here a familiar sample or cover version here or there -- the immortal riff from Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" is one such sample -- but that's it. And I'm not saying these are bad songs, either, but they have their own share of '90s Europop cheese. By my money, the standout tracks are the original songs made by Konami's own artists, which explore different musical genres, and generally provide a higher range of challenge in their charts.
|Your choice of character doesn't matter in gameplay terms.|
DDR has all the basic elements that make a Dance Dance Revolution game good, but not much on top of them. There's a certain simple charm in booting up a game and having all its content available to you at the start without even needing a Memory Card to save to, but that statement is a tad misleading because there is no content to unlock. The replay value in this game is limited to setting high scores for all the charts on all the songs, doing the same for all the nonstop courses, and perhaps starting a regular exercise program in Workout mode. While it may be a bad Dance Dance Revolution game, if only in terms of content, this introductory entry is not a bad video game.
And finally, in honour of Rerez, a YouTube gaming channel I discovered recently, I shall close out this review, and all other reviews going forward, with a list of the positive and negative qualities which stood out to me whilst playing, watching, reading, or listening to the work in question. (It's also a handy way of planning out my reviews before I start writing them.) As always, this shall be promptly followed up by the category grades and the final call. The more things change, the more they stay the same. So:
+ One of the first great examples of "exergaming" in a long time.
+ No need to unlock anything.
+ The inclusion of Beginner, Unison, Nonstop, and Workout modes.
+ Some of the step-charts have become unforgettably fun.
- A relatively small music selection, with nothing to unlock.
- Not many of the songs will be familiar to non-fans.
- Some of the music is cheesy -- "Let Them Move" especially.
Control: 5 Perfect!s out of 5
Design: 3 Perfects!s out of 5
Graphics: 3 Perfects!s out of 5
Sound: 4 Perfect!s out of 5
Value: 3 Perfect!s out of 5
The Call: 70% (C+)